Skiing is practiced in a natural mountainous environment, offering clean fresh air, nuisance and pollution free, and more room to play than the average playground where kids spend time and practice their outdoor / sport activities. In addition, wonderful and magical sceneries offers children with much excitement making unnoticed just how many hours of intensive exercise they are doing. Alongside the priceless health and fitness benefits of skiing, the creation of brand new skills and friendships go hand-in-hand with this non-traditional sport. Skiing is a fantastic family activity.
Success relies on technique more than strength; therefore progress is done steadily at its own pace. There is unquestionably a thrill to skiing and it develops core strength, coordination and balance.
Ragnar – a child with severe hemophilia A – who was 23 month old when he started skiing in January 2012, improved rapidly on and off the slope! He showed dedication, great motivation and no fear, and his walking improved drastically falling much less, drastically reducing risks of injuries and hematomas by strengthening his muscles thus protecting his joints. But for him the excitement was really on the slopes… He really feels at ease and truly is a natural born skier! Because Ragnar was around people on the slopes, he had to be conscious of their manners and relating to others.
Benefits of skiing for kids impact their health and fitness, coordination, physical skills, physical knowledge, personal development, social development, environmental awareness, self control, self confidence building, set and achieve goals.
Kids usually start skiing at age three but Ragnar’s parents decided that it would be beneficial for their son to start as early as he does his first steps and their experience proved right! It was also a challenge for the parents as they too often heard – since their son was diagnosed – from doctors that he would not be able to do so much sport.
During his last winter season as well as the one before (his first one), Ragnar skied over 30 times for duration ranging from 30 minutes to slightly over an hour, often more than once a day. It should be noted that no factor was ever needed during and / or following skiing nor did it cause any light injuries.
– Technique: kids start off without poles to learn how to handle skis properly.
– Ski lifts: once your kid can ski, try using carpets, chairlift or gondolas and avoid ski lift such as T-bar as they could cause injuries!
– Equipment: when introducing your kid to skiing, shoes should be light and soft unlike standard ski boot that are fairly heavy and very rigid. Skis should be short with strap bindings. Cloth should be warm enough and preferably bulky to provide padding / protection. Last and most important: a HELMET!!
– First lessons: do it yourself if you are well experienced in teaching skiing or if you are an expert skier, otherwise we encourage to hire a professional ski instructor making sure you explain what hemophilia is and what it implies so he can teach accordingly.